Ukrainian Kostyuk refuses to shake hands with Belarusian Azarenka at the US Open

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ORUkrainian Marta Kostyuk refused to shake hands with the former world number one Victoria Azarenko after the victory of the latter in sets on US Open on Thursday.

The 20-year-old athlete has loudly expressed her dissatisfaction with Russian and Belarusian players on the WTA Tour because of their silence about the Russian-Ukrainian war.

After the match Kostyuk said she didn’t think it was appropriate to shake Azarenkahand, instead opting to raise the racket for a quick hit.

“It was my choice, I feel like I don’t know a single person who would publicly condemn the war and the actions of their government, so I don’t feel like I can support it,” she told ESPN.

“Don’t get me wrong, she’s a great opponent. But that has nothing to do with her being human.”

despues de Kostyukpress conference, Azarenka told reporters that over the past few months she has contacted Ukrainian athletes through the WTA.

“I was told that now is not the right time,” she said.

Azarenka was removed from the event “Peace for Ukraine”

Kostyuk says she didn’t talk to Azarenka since the start of the war, but believes she should speak out given her influence in Belarus and on the WTA Players Council.

Ukrainian woman said she wrote SMS Azarenka on Wednesday and made it clear to her that after the match she would not shake hands with her.

She also hoped for a broader conversation with Azarenka on this occasion, but the Belarusian replied that she was not there.

Azarenka was excluded from the USTA Peace for Ukraine event last week after Kostyuk expressed discomfort about her participation in an interview with Ukrainian BTU.

“Imagine that World War II is on, there is a fundraiser for Jews, and a German player wants to play.” Kostyuk spoke about his decision.

concerning Azarenkashe says she doesn’t understand why she was removed from the event.

“It’s not difficult for me, why don’t I get involved in humanitarian aid to people who are really struggling right now,” she said.

“I thought it was a gesture that really shows commitment. I’m not sure why it wasn’t received that way.”

Azarenka replied to Kostyuk

Azarenka noted that she had no close relationship with Kostyuknever talking to her, but said she was ready to meet face to face.

“I am ready to listen at any time, try to understand, sympathize,” the Belarusian said.

“I think empathy in a moment like this is really important, which, again, was my clear message in the beginning.”

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